I hope this newsletter finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe. The beginning of the new year is a time for reflection and promise. Although 2020 was filled with challenges it’s been inspiring to be around so many that leaned into the situation and found opportunities.
One such innovator is Wichita State alum Chase Curtis, founder and CEO of Sway Medical. Sway has had substantial success with his mobile concussion assessment tool and has become the leader in mobile balance and cognitive assessment. But when sports went on hold in spring 2020, Sway Medical shifted to a mobile neurological assessment that allowed doctors to easily evaluate patients remotely with their own devices, establishing them as a legitimate player in the digital health industry. Over the summer, Sway Medical was able to close a $4.2 million Series-A financing round.
Dr. Heidi VanRavenhorst-Bell at Wichita State’s Human Performance Laboratory deserves some credit, as she led the validation studies submitted for FDA approval. Sway Medical is an excellent example of the necessary relationships between academics and industry
Another point of pride was the rapid adoption of new teaching modes. In the age of information overload, we were forced into a world of digital classrooms and business meetings. Zoom fatigue is the real deal. Max Hinman and Jared Goering, instructors in the Master of Innovation and Design program, deserve a shout-out for seamlessly shifting their spring course, Introduction to Blockchain, from face-to-face lectures to a virtual reality platform. Oculus headsets were dropped off at students’ homes, and course engagement improved. With some lessons learned and some new hardware, we look forward to a fresh delivery next semester.
We never know where innovation is going to show itself or what the situation will be that inspires it.
Wishing you abundance, happiness and peace in the new year.